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Line-up of 14th OFFline Film Festival announced
27 Sep 2023 : News Desk
Director Jim Sheridan will be in Birr for the festival. A number of short horror films screen as part of Fright Night. Made in Midlands will celebrate the works of Midlands filmmakers. There will also be silent films accompanied by live music, masterclasses, school screenings, and more.

On opening night, the festival welcomes Jim Sheridan to Birr Theatre & Arts Centre for a special Career Retrospective. He will talk about his career to date and delve into a number of scenes from his catalogue of work with guest moderator, Garret Daly. There will also be a chance for the audience to ask questions.

A dozen filmmakers will also be selected for a Directing Masterclass with Sheridan earlier that day. He will take the selected filmmakers through some key scenes, delve into the writer’s motivation behind each scene and display how he might motivate actors to deliver a convincing performance. Priority will be given to local and regional filmmakers selected with the assistance of the local Film commission, FilmOffaly. Deadline to apply is Monday 2nd October, 5pm.

The National Talent Academy Film & TV Drama will also be hosting their own Industry Masterclass, The Collaborative Art of Producing for TV & Film, on Sunday 15th October. This talk will discuss the role of a producer, where creativity meets innovation. The panel will include established producers across multiple platforms within Film and TV Production, including documentary, animation and drama.
Made in Midlands takes place on Thursday 12th October. This collection includes live-action shorts made in the Midlands and those made elsewhere by Midlands filmmakers. First starting in 2019, the Made in Midlands spotlight has become a fixture of the festival’s programme. 

Other highlights include Fright Night which returns this year on Friday 13th October at Kinnitty Castle. Birr School of Music will be hosting its night of silent films with live musical accompaniment, Movies with Live Music on Saturday 14 October at John’s Hall.

OFFline Film Festival received nearly 400 submissions from filmmakers all over the world again this year. Nearly 50 shorts (animation and live-action) will screen on Friday and Saturday of the festival with the winners of the Best Irish Short, Best International Short, Best Animation and the Audience Award announced at this year’s Awards Ceremony on Sunday 15th October at Dooly’s Hotel. The winner of the Best Irish Short Award this year wins a guaranteed distribution deal to over 80 official film clubs across Ireland through access>Cinema, and post-production and sound for their next short at Windmill Lane.

OFFline curated the programme for the first-ever Irish Film Berlin back in May. A  number of Berlin-based filmmakers will be in Birr to screen their shorts at the Old [New] Cinema, on Saturday 14th October.

Documentaries form a major part of this year’s programme including another screening of Nicholas Purcell Ryan’s Down Memory Lane with Mabel Wallace: 100 Years of Change, which will officially close out this year’s Festival on Sunday 15th October after a number of sellout screenings in recent weeks. 

“First things first, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome the elder statesman of Irish cinema, Jim Sheridan, to Birr,” said Gary Hoctor, OFFline Film Festival Director. “This is a truly rare opportunity to come and listen to one of the best in business, so don’t miss it. For local filmmakers, there’ll also be a unique chance to partake in a Directing Masterclass with the Master himself, so get your applications in to us.”

“This is one of the most exciting OFFline programmes to date with something to enjoy for all ages. Advance booking is strongly advised with a number of our events already sold out. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank those who’ve helped us put together this fantastic line-up of events, especially our funders, partners, advertisers and patrons.”

For the full programme and to book tickets: www.offlinefilmfestival.com

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